MAGAZINE: EDITION APRIL 2020
Ahmadiyyat Back Issues The Nature of God

The Attributes of Allah

The interior design of Mubarak Mosque, Islamabad, Tilford, in the UK is unique amongst mosques of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A beautiful adornment of the attributes of God Almighty decorates the walls of the mosque.

His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, granted special guidance in all the various phases of the construction of the mosque as well as the calligraphy produced inside it. His Holiness (aba) said that the attributes will serve as a means of inspiring the worshippers to reflect and ponder over the meanings of each attribute. The Review of Religions continues with its exclusive new series in which a short commentary of each attribute has been detailed.

The calligraphy was designed by expert calligrapher Razwan Baig. This research has been compiled by the Research Cell Rabwah through Syed Mubashar Ahmad Ayyaz, and translated into English by Shahzad Ahmed, Nooruddeen Jahangeer Khan & Zafir Mahmood Malik of The Review of Religions.


40. The Loving (Al-Wadūd)

وَ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ رَحِیۡمٌ وَّدُوۡدٌ

‘And seek forgiveness of your Lord; then turn to Him wholeheartedly. Verily, my Lord is Merciful, Most Loving.’ [1]

The attribute  الْوَدُوْدُ – Al-Wadūd is derived from the root وَدَّ – (Wadda) which means to love. Al-Wadūd is the active participle and means the one who loves greatly. A famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (sa) shows the great love and affection God Almighty shows to His servants. The Holy Prophet (sa) once said: ‘When Allah loves a servant, a call goes out to Gabriel: “Allah, the Exalted, loves so and so, do thou love him also.” Then Gabriel also loves him and sends a call to the dwellers of the heavens: “Allah loves so and so, you also should love him.” Then the dwellers of the heavens love him also and he is accepted in the earth.’ [2]

A Sinner is One Who Severs their Relationship with God Almighty in This Life

Related to this attribute, the Promised Messiah (as) writes that if we are to experience this attribute of Allah the Almighty’s, then we must let go of our own desires: ‘If a person separates themselves from God Almighty and becomes a slave to carnal desires and passions, God, in turn, moves further and further away from them. As a person grows closer to their own passions and desires, their connection with God is weakened. As the proverb goes: “love begets love”. Therefore, if a person demonstrates that they are averse to God in practice, then they ought to know that God too is averse to them. If, on the other hand, a person loves God Almighty and flows towards Him like water, then they ought to know that God is Gracious. When a person loves Allah the Exalted, He in turn shows him greater love. He is a God who sends down blessings upon those who love Him. God makes them feel that He is with them, to the extent that He blesses their words and their lips. The garments of such an individual and their every word become a source of blessing for others. In the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) there exists categorical proof of this even now, that when a person becomes devoted to God, God too befriends him.’ [3]

ENDNOTES

  1. The Holy Qur’an, 11:91.
  2. Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab at-Tauhid, Hadith no. 7485.
  3. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Malfuzat – Volume 1 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 140

41. The Raiser of the Dead (Al-Bā’ith)

وَّ اَنَّ السَّاعَةَ اٰتِيَةٌ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيْهَا١ۙ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يَبْعَثُ مَنْ فِي الْقُبُوْرِ 

‘And because Allah will raise up those who are in the graves.’ [1]

The attribute اَلْبَاعِثُ– Al-Bā‘ith is derived from the Arabic root بَعَثَ – (ba-‘a-tha). According to Arabic lexicon Aqrab al-Mawarid, when this verb is used to describe an action of God Almighty in the context of the dead, it means that Allah the Almighty has raised them again. The infinitive form ‘Al-Ba‘thu’ means to raise.

Imam Raghib has further elaborated on this word stating that the word بَعَثَ – (ba-‘a-tha) can be used in two different contexts. It can be used to refer to an action of God Almighty as well as an action performed by man. When describing an action carried out by God Almighty it means either to bring something into existence from nothing, or to resurrect the dead. When the word بَعَثَ – (ba-‘a-tha) is used in relation to messengers or prophets, it means God Almighty has appointed them to the station of prophethood. [2]

The aforementioned verse of the Holy Qur’an has been used in a famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) relates that when the Holy Prophet (sa) would complete his morning prayer and after the sun had risen, the Holy Prophet (sa) would say: ‘Greetings to the new day, all those who are present, bear witness: In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His Messenger, and I bear witness that faith is that which has been expounded by God Almighty, and the Book is that which has been revealed by God Almighty, and I bear witness that the Hour will certainly come, there is no doubt about it, and because Allah will raise up those who are in the graves.’ [3]

The Reality Behind Life After Death

The Promised Messiah (as) once stated: ‘After death, man will be raised again just as it is mentioned in a Hadith [oral traditions of the Holy Prophet (sa)] that there was once an individual who was extremely fearful of God Almighty but was unaware of His Omnipotent powers. He stated in his will that after his death, he should be cremated and his ashes ought to be scattered into a river (so that his entire body could be scattered in a way that it would never be brought back together). Upon his demise, his family members fulfilled his wishes. However, in the state of purgatory [i.e. the intermediate state between death and the Day of Judgement] God Almighty raised him again and asked: “Were you not aware that We have the power to gather you once again?” He replied that he did this because he was fearful of the punishment for his sins he committed. Owing to this, God Almighty forgave him. This is another form of resurrection which will take place prior to the Day of Judgement.’ [4]

ENDNOTES

  1. The Holy Qur’an, 22:8.
  2. Imam Raghib, Mufridat Al Qur-an.
  3. Kanzul Ummaal, Kitabul Azkaar, Hadith no. 4947.
  4. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Malfuzat – Volume 6 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2019), 15.

42. The Source of Truth (Al-Haqq)

ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّهُ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى وَأَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ 

‘That is because Allah is the Truth, and that it is He Who brings the dead to life, and that He has power over all things.’ [1]

The attribute اَلحَقُّ– Al-Ḥaqq is derived from the Arabic root حَقَّ – (Haqqa). According to the Arabic lexicon Taj al-Uroos, حَقٌّ (Haqqun) means for something to exist in a manner whereby its existence cannot be denied. Haqqun is the one who creates everything for a purpose. Hence, one of the attributes of God Almighty is Al-Ḥaqq. [2] Moreover, anything which is based on wisdom is described as Haqqun. [3]

When the Prophet (sa) used to wake up in the night to offer the tahajjud [voluntary pre-dawn] prayer, he used to say: ‘O Allah! All praise belongs to you; You maintain the order of the heavens and the earth, and whatever lies therein. All the praises are for You; Your Sovereignty reigns supreme over the heavens and the earth and whatever lies therein. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and all the praises are for You; You are the King of the heavens and the earth; and all the praises are for You; You are the Source of all Truth and Your Promise is indeed true, and the [final] meeting with You is certain, Your Words are the truth; verily paradise and hellfire are true; all the prophets (peace be upon them) are true; and Muhammad (sa) is true, and the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah! I surrender (my will) to You; I profess my belief in You and place my trust in You. You alone do I turn to [in repentance], and with Your help do I contend against others and I entrust the decision to You. Pray, forgive me of my past and future shortcomings; and whatever I concealed or revealed and You are the One Who hastens and delays. There is none to be worshipped except you. [4]

Allah – The Name of the Perfect Being

The Promised Messiah (as) states, ‘All praises are proven for that Being, truly worthy of worship, who combines in Himself all perfect attributes, whose name is Allah. I have already stated that in the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, Allah is the name of that Perfect Being, who is truly worthy of worship, who combines in Himself all perfect attributes, is free from all defects, is the One without any associate, and who is the Source of all grace. God Almighty has, in His Holy Word, the Holy Qur’an, described His name ‘Allah’ to be the noun qualified by all other names and attributes, and has nowhere accorded this status to any other name; therefore, the name ‘Allah’, on account of its being the comprehensive noun denoting all of the attributes which qualify it, refers to all attributes of Allah. And since it is qualified by all names and attributes, it would mean that it comprehends all perfect attributes.’ [5]

ENDNOTES

  1. The Holy Qur’an, 22:7.
  2. Taj al-Uroos.
  3. Imam Raghib, Mufridat Al-Qur’an.
  4. Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab at-Tahajjud, Hadith no. 1120.
  5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya – Volume 4 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2016), 201-202.

43. The Wise (Al-Hakīm)

قَالُوۡا سُبۡحٰنَکَ لَا عِلۡمَ لَنَاۤ اِلَّا مَا عَلَّمۡتَنَا ؕ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ 

‘They said: “Holy art Thou! No knowledge have we except what Thou hast taught us; surely, Thou art the All-Knowing, the Wise.”‘ [1]

The attribute الۡحَکِیۡمُ – Al-Ḥakīm is derived from the Arabic root حَکَمَ – (Ha-ka-ma). Al-Ḥakīm is the one who possess the most perfect wisdom. Another meaning of Al-Ḥakīm  is the one who knows all the deeper intricacies of all things and completes his matters with great expertise. [2] When referring to God Almighty, the attribute Al-Ḥakīm means that God Almighty is the most Wise, Who has perfect knowledge and understanding of everything He has brought into existence.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Ja’far (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said to him: ‘Whenever you seek something [from God], and you desire to succeed in that matter, then begin by supplicating: “There is no God but Allah, He is One and has no partner, the Most High, the Great, and there is none worthy of worship except the One God, the Wise, the Honourable,” then ask for what you desire.’ [3]

Allah – The Mighty and The Wise

The Promised Messiah (as) writing about the wisdom of God Almighty, states:  ‘Observe how God provides water to quench our thirst and grants us food to satisfy our hunger, but He does so through means. Therefore, this phenomenon of means functions as I have just described. Means must be created to achieve one’s ends, because God has two names. As Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Sahib mentioned earlier, Allah the Almighty states:

وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمٗا

Allah is Mighty, Wise [4]

By virtue of His name ‘Aziz (the Mighty), God does whatever is needed and the name Hakīm (the Wise) denotes that His every action is done with wisdom, and done properly and adequately in accordance with the appropriate time and place.’ [5]

ENDNOTES

  1. The Holy Qur’an, 2:33.
  2. Lisan al-Arab.
  3. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Bab Ma yuqalu fi talabil-hajjati wa ma yud’aa bihi, Hadith No. 29809.
  4. The Holy Qur’an, 4:159.
  5. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Malfuzat Volume 1 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 120-121.

44. The Guardian (Al-Wakīl)

اَلَّذِيْنَ قَالَ لَهُمُ النَّاسُ إِنَّ النَّاسَ قَدْ جَمَعُوْا لَكُمْ فَاخْشَوْهُمْ فَزَادَهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَّقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيْلُ 

‘Those to whom men said, “People have mustered against you, therefore fear them,” but this only increased their faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and an excellent Guardian is He.”‘ [1]

The expression وَکَّلَ اِلَیْہِ الْاَمْرَ  (Wakkala Ilayhil Amra) means that he entrusted his matter with to another and considered it as sufficient. Similarly when الوَکِیْلُ – Al-Wakīl is a passive participle, it denotes the one in whom one places their trust, but when Al-Wakīl is an active participle, it means the one who protects, just as it is stated in the aforementioned verse of the Holy Quran. [2] This attribute has been mentioned in a famous tradition of the Holy Prophet (sa). On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) settled a matter between two people, and the one against whom the verdict was given turned away and said: ‘Sufficient for me is Allah, and an excellent Guardian is He’. The Holy Prophet (sa) then said: “Allah Almighty calls to account one’s negligence, hence one ought to employ wisdom and if you are overcome in a certain matter, then say: “Sufficient for me is Allah, and and excellent Guardian is He.” [3]

The Governor of all Affairs

A few days ago, I was in Gurdaspur when I received the following revelation:

لَااِلٰہَ اِلَّااَنَا فَاتَّخِذْنِیْ وْکِیْلًا

[“There is none worthy of worship, except Me; so take Me alone as your Guardian.”]

i.e. God Almighty states: “All affairs are governed through Me, thus, take Me alone as your Guardian, and do not think that anyone else has the power to help you.” When I received this revelation my heart was shaken and I thought that my Jama‘at [community] is not yet worthy of being addressed by God. I cannot have any regret greater than dying while the Jama‘at is still in such infancy and a weak condition. [4]

ENDNOTES

  1. The Holy Qur’an, 3:174.
  2. Aqrab al-Mawarid.
  3. Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitabul Aqdiyah, Hadith No. 3627.
  4. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Majmu’a Ishtiharaat – Volume 2, p. 614.

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